Things to do in

New Orleans

Be sure not to miss the spectacular jazz, cajun-tastic cuisine, and bustling French Quarter in the Big Easy.

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Our most recommended things to do in New Orleans

  • New Orleans: Evening Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

    1. New Orleans: Evening Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

    Journey back in time aboard the Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez – the only surviving authentic steamboat in New Orleans. Sit back, relax and enjoy the New Orleans atmosphere as the smooth jazz of the Dukes Trio fills your ears. This 2-hour cruise from the heart of the French Quarter will take you along the graceful Mississippi River. Seating is available indoors and on deck for the very best views of the river and the City of New Orleans. The indoor areas are climate-controlled and the outdoor space allows for tours of all levels of the boat. There is nothing more charming than an evening on the Steamboat Natchez. Sample Dinner Menu Natchez Tossed Salad: Mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, red onions and croutons with a sugar cane vinaigrette and served family style Chicken and Sausage Gumbo: Made with a traditional Louisiana roux and served with rice Baked Chicken: Serve...

    Wonderful time. The cruise was beautiful and educational and the food was fantastic. I would do this again and again and again.

  • New Orleans: 2-Hour Haunted Cemetery and City Tour at Night

    2. New Orleans: 2-Hour Haunted Cemetery and City Tour at Night

    Begin your tour in the heart of the French Quarter. Meet your guide and board the bus to head to the tour's first location. Along the way learn some fascinating New Orleans Voodoo history. Arrive at the first stop, an above-ground cemetery. Experience its spooky atmosphere, but don't be scared, even if you're the only group in the cemetery. Then, get ready to walk over a burial ground containing 1000s of spirits who met their unfortunate fate in a tragic event. Finish off the tour by stopping at a haunted mansion, the Coven House from "American Horror Story". Here you will have the opportunity to take a picture before going back to the French Quarter.

    Jeff and the driver were beyond exceptional. They were funny and informative. Great night. Definitely recommend this for anyone coming to New Orleans.

  • New Orleans: Day Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

    3. New Orleans: Day Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

    Savor the beauty and romance of New Orleans and take a journey back in time aboard the Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez, the only authentic steamboat in New Orleans. Your two-hour cruise from the heart of the French Quarter takes you back to a time when life was as slow and graceful as the current on the Mississippi. The tour will take guests to see New Orleans from the river, one of the world's most active ports. Visit our museum quality Engine Room to learn how steam powers this magnificent boat through the “Mighty Mississippi.” Add an optional Creole lunch, prepared fresh on board, and savor the tastes of New Orleans as you relax on your 2-hour cruise. Sample Menu Lunch Monday - Saturday on 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM cruises Southern Fried Fish Red Beans and Rice Jambalaya Salad Du Jour Community Coffee and Iced Tea included Menu items are subject to change by season and ...

    We were very disappointed in the lunch provided. It was billed as being fried chicken. What was served was very thin and dry fried fish fillets. The rest of the meal was all carbohydrates: macaroni salad, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and bread pudding for dessert. Not anything was very palatable and not good for a diabetic. I’ll never do the meal cruise again.

  • New Orleans: Ghosts, Vampires, & Voodoo French Quarter Tour

    4. New Orleans: Ghosts, Vampires, & Voodoo French Quarter Tour

    Listen to stories of witchcraft and keep watch for spirits on a guided city walking tour of New Orleans. Explore the historical French Quarter, as you indulge in stories of magic, ghosts, vampires, and voodoo practitioners from your expert guide.

    Travel to several of the city's venerated neighborhoods, soaking up stories about the witches, ghosts, vampires, and Voodoo practitioners who have contributed to the city's colorful past.

    Meet your local guide and set off on a journey through New Orleans’ haunted history. Pass outside well-known sites such as Muriel’s Restaurant and the Old Ursuline Convent. See the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, where bloodletting and leeching took place in the 19th century.

    From the outside, see the house where Jacques Saint Germain — who was rumored to be a vampire — once ...

    Sandra D was awesome! She was a wonderful story teller and has a way of really drawing you in so you’re hanging on her every word! Very thoughtful and kind. It was a scorcher the day of our trip and she kept us in the shade as much as possible and allowed plenty of time for breaks. Very knowledgeable, couldn’t have asked for a better time. 10/10 would definitely recommend!!

  • New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Airboat Swamp Combo

    5. New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Airboat Swamp Combo

    Discover Louisiana on a guided day trip from New Orleans to the historical Oak Alley Plantation, with entry tickets included, and a bayou airboat ride. Benefit from round-trip transportation from your New Orleans hotel.

    Start your experience with hotel pickup, and relax on the drive to Oak Alley Plantation. Enjoy a guided tour of the plantation home by guides in period dress while you hear and learn about the times of slavery. 

    Take in the house's Greek Revival architecture, the antique farm equipment exhibits, and walk around the grounds where 28 evenly spaced, huge oak trees grow. Browse the blacksmith shop and souvenir shop, or stop for a snack (at your own expense) in the restaurant.

    Continue onto Barataria Basin for an airboat tour of the bayou swamplands, where your local captain will guide you through the swamp...

    The airboat ride was interesting & exciting and we enjoyed the plantation and presentations there. Because of the 3 plus hours on the road it would have been nice to learn more about the area while on the road instead of just riding in silence

  • New Orleans: Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with Optional Dinner

    6. New Orleans: Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with Optional Dinner

    Step back into the glamour and romance of the riverboat era with a cruise on the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen boat. On this river cruise, you will experience the vibrant and lively jazz notes of the amazing Sullivan Dabney Jr. and the Muzik Jazz Band while enjoying a Creole-style dinner. There will be some time to dance to the music after dinner in the gorgeous dining hall.  After dinner, you can enjoy a classic New Orleans cocktail on the promenade deck looking out over the Mississippi River as the city slips past. On the way back to the city you will pass by Jackson Square and see the city lights under a starry sky.  SAMPLE DINNER MENU: • Cajun Caesar Salad • Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo • Louisiana Creole Jambalaya • Cajun Baked Chicken • Roast Beef Debris • Garlic Mashed Potatoes • Cajun Seafood Pasta • Red Beans & Rice • Corn Mac Choux • Fresh Roasted Vegetables • Paddlewheele...

    Great host & staff, amazing band, variety of food, and beautiful evening scenery along the river!! Highly recommend.

  • New Orleans: High-Speed Bayou Swamp Airboat Tour

    7. New Orleans: High-Speed Bayou Swamp Airboat Tour

    Catch a high-speed airboat and jet out into Louisiana’s backwaters on a guided tour of the famous bayous. Explore the local swampland from the comfort of your tour boat on a high-speed adventure with your captain guide. Tune in as your guide tells the story of local Cajun culture, the bayous backwaters themselves, and wildlife that inhabits them. Enjoy the beautiful scenery with soft waterway landscapes and moss-draped trees. Catch a glimpse of the local flora and fauna, including the much-sought-after alligator, plus other wildlife such as fish, raccoons, birds, deer, and even snakes.

  • Swamp Tours South of New Orleans by Airboat

    8. Swamp Tours South of New Orleans by Airboat

    Climb aboard a unique airboat to explore Louisiana’s wetlands south of New Orleans in a truly unique fashion. Located just 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans, Airboats Adventures operate airboats that can zip through the bayou and squeeze into tiny canals hidden deep in the swamp. For 105 minutes, the captains at Airboat Adventures share some of the most beautiful and secluded areas of Louisiana. Wildlife such as alligators, turtles, and birds are common sights, but you never know what else might come out to visit! Round-trip transfers are available from New Orleans for guests without a car. Upon arrival, check-in to the Airboats Adventures facilities, before departing on the airboat to zip across the swamps. Grab a snack at the gift shop, or check out Sugar and Flour, the only albino alligators on the bayou. Picnic tables are available both inside and out, where you can relax before...

    It was nice. Sunscreen and hat is needed for sure. Very cool gators but didn’t get to hold a baby one like mentioned. It was disappointing but maybe next time and they should probably update the listing about that.

  • New Orleans: French Quarter Food Tour

    9. New Orleans: French Quarter Food Tour

    Your culinary tour of New Orleans starts where it all began — the banks of the Mississippi River. From here, you’ll witness the lifeblood of this region which brought new cultures, new influences and new ingredients to the USA through its ports. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you'll indulge in New Orleans' most iconic breakfast pastry covered in powdered sugary goodness, the beignet. Next, head up to the French Market, the site of America's oldest public market and a unique culinary space where you can grab a local bite to eat and meet some of the locale's colorful personalities. From the French Market, you’ll embark on the picturesque streets of the French Quarter where your guide will take you to some of their favorite palette-pleasing spot, both classic New Orleans as well as delicacies you won't find outside Cajun country. If you have an affinity for...

    We did the tour on our 4th day. I would recommend doing at the very beginning of your trip because our tour guide provided so much great & relevant information that was beneficial for the remainder of our trip.

  • New Orleans: 1-Hour Carriage Ride Through the French Quarter

    10. New Orleans: 1-Hour Carriage Ride Through the French Quarter

    Discover the historic neighborhoods of New Orleans in a traditional mule-drawn carriage, taking in the vibrant history, culture, and architecture of the French Quarter. Relax and travel in style through some of the most exciting neighborhoods in America.

    Learn the basics of New Orleans's history as you travel in style around its vibrant streets. Discover fascinating anecdotes about the people and places that have contributed to making New Orleans truly unique and unforgettable from your licensed local guide.

    See French Quarter sights like the Saint Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, Napoleon House, the French Market, and Bourbon Street. Choose between a walking tour of St Louis Cemetery #1, or a ride through the Faubourg Marigny with its unique architecture and live music venues.

    Enjoy peace of mind knowing that group carriage tours travel at a leisurely pace...

    We went past interesting sites, gathered a little more of New Orleans history and got away from the crowds for a while.

Frequently asked questions about New Orleans

What top attractions are a must-see in New Orleans?

Planning Your Visit

  • When to go?

    The height of summer (June-August) can get intolerably hot, but it's worth checking what events are happening the rest of the year before settling on dates. The famous Mardi Gras carnival takes place the day before Ash Wednesday (in February or March). If you want to sample some traditional street food though, arrive for November's Oak Street Po-Boy Festival to try the best Po-Boy sandwiches in town!

  • How long to stay?

    For sightseeing, four days should be enough time to cover the French Quarter and Garden District, however, New Orleans is a city full of life and culture that penetrates deep beneath its surface. Book a few extra days if you can, keep your itinerary loose, and be prepared to get drawn into a few pleasant surprises!

  • How to get around?

    Walking is by far the best way to see New Orleans, but when it's raining you can easily hail one of the city's many reasonably priced taxis. (Bear in mind though, that most cabs are more expensive and harder to come by on special event days.) There is also a well-connected bus network, but why not opt for the streetcars for which the city is famous? The St. Charles Avenue route, between downtown and Uptown, is a National Historic Landmark!

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    American Dollar ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-06:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Spring, fall and winter tend to be more pleasant times to visit the city, not only to avoid the heat, but also to experience Mardi Gras, or one of the city's famous festivals. Check event calendars while planning your trip!

Other Sightseeing Options in New Orleans

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What people are saying about New Orleans

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 12,374 reviews

Jeff and the driver were beyond exceptional. They were funny and informative. Great night. Definitely recommend this for anyone coming to New Orleans.

Great host & staff, amazing band, variety of food, and beautiful evening scenery along the river!! Highly recommend.

GREAT EXPERIENCE GREAT INSTRUCTOR AND CREW GREAT GREAT THE FOODDD WAS DELICIOUS AND YOU LEARN SOMETHING

Taylor was awesome......knowledgeable, friendly & entertaining. Highly recommend!

The tour guide was informative, fun, and very helpful with questions!!!